The smell of freshly urinated grass first thing in the morning can’t truly be described by anyone that hasn’t awoken on a bit of lawn, skirt riding up around their waist and the promise that this might be their last day on earth, but believe me I did not set out to finish up this way…
My friend Steve and I weren’t spending enough time together. He was insistent we meet up on the weekend and have a good chin wag, it was comments like that that had led me to push away from Steve, but like a cat trying to get a dead bird out of skirting boards he kept coming back. In hindsight I should never have encouraged my best friend Frannie to sleep with him, but he told me he was dying and I thought I’d do the guy a favour and so I introduced him to Frannie who after a recent pap smear scare was looking to rejoin the human race.
He wasn’t dying, not that he was lying. He’d stepped on a rusty nail earlier that day and had been lakse getting a tetnus injection and had been feeling a bit off all day. Frannie had her suspicions ‘he didn’t shag like a dying man – he was more like the warm up guy on Wheel of Fortune; he worked on the theory I’d probably seen the show often enough to work it all out myself and he just occasionally yelled out encouraging vowel sounds’.
Frannie’s lack of interest in pursuing anything with Steve led her to give him my number and it turned out that when he wasn’t crying he was kinda alright to hang out with and when I say hang out with I mean a phone call once a year around Christmas generally when I’m about to go into a tunnel and my phone just drops out. So for whatever reason now he wanted a face to face. I agreed to meet him for dinner, drinks and food in a controlled environment with little chance of him bursting into tears or bringing his mother along.
‘I’m not eating chicken anymore’ He told me as the waiter took our order for two medium rare steaks. ‘Nothing off a carcass, it’s just so cruel.’
‘Not to burst your bubble Steve but steak much like the one you just ordered comes off a carcass’.
‘Common misconception Lou, it comes from the rump’
‘Which is part of the skeletal system, the carcass of the animal’
‘Granted its supported by the carcass, but it’s not entirely reliant on it, the rump doesn’t need the carcus to survive’
‘I think you’re thinking of squid’
‘And you Lou are refusing to think full stop’.
The problem was had Steve been an ex of mine, or an off cut of a night of pity then I’d have no trouble treating him with the contempt he deserved, but this was complicated. It was like meeting up with a friends ex-husband to distract him from the restraining order that had been served on him early that week with lots of ‘she told you she needed her space, this isn’t so much about you as it is her new husband that really thinks you can’t let go’ or my personal favourite ‘if you hadn’t slept with her mum there’s a good chance it would never have gotten to this’.
Our food arrived, my second bottle of wine decanted, his mineral water poured and we settled into round two for the night.
‘Why did you and I never hook up Lou. I see a lot of potential in you Lou.’
‘I was gay when I met you’
‘Guess it was just bad timing’
‘You still gay?’
‘No, just turns out it was something I ate that night’
‘Funny you say that. I’ve met someone’
I nearly fell off my chair.
‘Do they know you’ve met them?’
‘Yes, she’d been on at me for ages to go out with her, it was pretty pathetic but what is it they say ‘give a girl a bone?’
‘You said that to her?’
‘No, I did that to her – gave her a bone…get it?’
I gulped at an empty glass, another drink was in order. I was breaking my latest rule – no drinking around others.
‘But then she got all weird’
‘She’d probably sobered up’
‘No, she doesn’t drink. It’s really very refreshing, you should try it sometime Lou’
‘There are lots of things I should do, but generally I do what I shouldn’t – point and case sitting here with you right now.’
‘Ouch – you’re just drunk’
‘Yes and I’m going to get going in a minute before my brain truly starts to grasp some of the things you’ve said tonight’
‘You’re just like my new girlfriend’
‘No I’m not, for starters I’m not a minor’
‘She’s 40 actually – older then me and you. A proper woman. She’s certified’.
‘They don’t hand out certificates’
‘They should and warning signs, I mean she got upset because I wouldn’t got down on her’.
My steak revisited my throat but I pushed it back down.
‘It’s just not natural Lou, like if I was gay fine, it’s part of the job description but I’m a guy, I mean help me out here Lou’
I slowly picked up my purse.
‘I don’t think we can be friends anymore Steve.’
‘Oh don’t tell me you like that stuff Lou…christ not you too..I’m starting to think it’s all women’.
‘Someone will stab you one day Steve, I’m just giving you a heads up on that’
‘Fine be that way, but I reckon you won’t find one guy who’s ok with doing that to a girl, well maybe a queer’
‘Frannie has chronic herpes Steve – enjoy’
And with that I left, and what I’d failed to realise was quite how drunk I was and at some point I passed out on what I believe was my way home…
….so waking up it took a few moments for my body to figure out where it had landed, where my brain in all it’s learned knowledge had decided I’d best be suited to bring in the new day. That place was my parents front lawn, complete with my father weeding in one corner and much to be horror, my mother languishing on a desk chair and prodding me a stick and yelling at her dog ‘Henry get away from your sister, put your leg down, down…oh honestly I’ve never seen Henry pee on someone so much – he must think you’re his girflfriend’